Oho, I haven’t been rocking out that long to the original yet, but Harmonix unleashed the worst kept secret in music gaming today by confirming Rock Band 2.
What they’ve announced isn’t that surprising, but it’s good to have official confirmation that:
- The instruments from RB1 will work
- DLC from both titles will be interchangeable
Now, really Harmonix would be off their rocker if they didn’t hit these 2 feature points, but it’s worth noting that in particular the cross-title DLC is actually a first, and Harmonix had to liaise with Microsoft and Sony to make sure it happened. It seems odd but the Guitar Hero franchise has never supported this - you can’t use GH2 DLC with GH3, and you can’t even use GH3 DLC with the recently released GH:Aerosmith - even though they’re from the same developer. So something that would seem so obvious is in fact an advancement here.
Harmonix have also said they’re improving the instruments - since RB1 instruments will work that suggests some incremental changes, perhaps softer drums and a stronger bass pedal, and I would guess some changes to the guitar, although on balance I actually prefer the Stratocaster now to the GH3 Les Paul (which I bought so we could play 4-player) - I know that’s fairly unusual but I like the non-clicky, firmer strum bar for fast up & down strumming, and I like the terminator ridges at the top/bottom of the fret buttons for fast orientation. My drums are great now they’re modded but better out-of-the-box drums would be very welcome I’m sure. Wireless will be a given too, certainly for the guitar, not sure about the drums but I really don’t see the benefit of wireless drums anyway, since they’re sat in one place all the time - a pointless way to burn batteries if you ask me. They’re also allowing 3rd parties to create instruments, like Mad Catz. Overall their attitude to openness and player freedom seems a lot better than Activision’s.
No word on songs yet but unofficial reports suggest that AC/DC is in, something fans have clamoured for for a while (I’m not a big AC/DC fan but I can see the appeal of playing Back in Black and Highway to Hell), and the total set list is rumoured to be a massive 120 songs, which is just ridiculous if it’s true. I currently have about 90 songs to play including DLC, and we won’t play some tracks for days - talk about being spoiled. It sounds like the list will be revealed at E3.
Obviously I’m rather keen on Rock Band and really can’t wait to see what the sequel contains. September is the release date (pipping GHWT to the post I see), although this may just be a US release - I do hope that they at least release the Solus version in Europe even if they can’t get the hardware logistics sorted out [Edit: yay, Europe will get it in September too][Edit2: ugh maybe not]. It’ll be a timed 360 exclusive again; once again I thank my stars I picked the right horse for Rock Band!
Edit: And we’re finally getting 12 more tracks from The Who in 2 weeks! So missing master tracks really were the reason for the delay on Whos Next. Good times - fingers crossed that Baba O’Riley made it in.